Budget 2019 India: While proposing the ‘Study in India’ programme to make India an attractive education destination for foreign students, she said India has the potential to become an educational hub.
To make India an educational hub and have more of its higher education institutions featured in international rankings, the government has proposed a range of major changes for the education system, including an allocation of `400 crore for the world-class higher education institutions and ‘Study in India’ programme aimed at attracting foreign students. The allocation of `400 crore for the 2019-20 fiscal is over three times the revised
estimates for the previous year.
The finance minister said five years ago, there were no Indian institutes featuring in the Top 200 of the QS World University Rankings, but now three institutes — two IITs and IISc Bangalore — are in the top 2,000 institutions in world university rankings.
“The fact that three institutes feature in global rankings (QS) is due to the consistent efforts of the educational institutes. We want to boost those efforts and have proposed a three-fold increase in the funding for this purpose,” she said.
During her maiden Budget speech, the finance minister said the government will bring in a new national education policy to revitalise the sector and transform India’s higher education system to one of the best in the world. The policy proposes major changes in both school and higher education, improve governance and promote research and innovation, for which a National Research Foundation (NRF) would be set up, she said.
“NRF will ensure that the overall research ecosystem in the country is strengthened with focus on identified thrust areas relevant to our national priorities and towards basic science without duplication of effort and expenditure,” the minister said, adding that the funds available with all ministries will be integrated in NRF and would be adequately supplemented with additional funds.
While the government has proposed a 12.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) increase in the FY20 allocation for school education to `56,536.63 crore in Budget 2019, the same has risen 14.3% to `38,317.01 crore on the higher education front. This is a substantial increase from last year, when the allocation for school education was upped by 6.2%, and that for higher education was increased by 0.4%.
While proposing the ‘Study in India’ programme to make India an attractive education destination for foreign students, she said India has the potential to become an educational hub. A draft legislation for setting up Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) would be presented in the year ahead, she said, adding, “this will help to comprehensively reform the regulatory system of higher education to promote greater autonomy and focus on better academic outcomes.”
Besides, a National Sports Education Board will be set up under the Khelo India scheme, which will be aimed at reviving sports culture in India at the grass-root level, and will be expanded to provide all necessary financial support.
“This Budget is guided by the mission to strengthen the education sector especially the establishment of the NRF, which will definitely help in creating the right ecosystem for R&D in the country… A humble yet notable announcement was the ‘Study in India’ Programme, which holds the potential to put India on the world map. However, we still need a series of fundamental structural reforms,” said Amol Arora, MD – Shemrock & Shemford Group of Schools.
According to Beas DevRalhan, co-founder and CEO, Next Education India, “the government has proposed to increase efforts in skills development of our youth by incorporating new technologies in education such as artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, and new learning strategies such as virtual realities and robotics.”